November 27, 2007

Blogging > Twitter, Blogging, and Live Journalism

Jack Lail, online editor for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, has high praise for Doug McCaughan's live Twitter coverage of a local high school football game.

McCaughan wasn't a journalist covering the game and his report would have never made Drudge. The story from the newspaper journalist covering the game, which appeared online later in the evening online and in the paper the next morning, was a better read.

But McCaughan's Twitter posts had an immediacy that captured the drama and tension of a playoff game between two arch-rivals. It was breaking news to the people that wanted to know. It was news of the moment.

Newspapers are gradually disappearing in their current form. Amateurs as journalists are on the rise, and they're even more important in the local space. If I had to guess I'd guess that the smaller the town the faster the local printed newspaper will disappear and the sooner amateurs will become important locally.

LATER: Michael Silence disagrees with that last sentence:

Actually, just the opposite is true. Many small town papers are cruising along quite nicely. Reader loyalty is much higher in small towns because of the close association. Advertising is more effective due to the close-knit audience, and small-town papers were "hyperlocal" well before that became an online trend.

It's possible he's right and I'm wrong, and especially when it comes to the smallest towns.

Posted by lesjones | TrackBack


I hope we are in some ways remaking ourselves instead of disappearing.

But you're right abut it being gradually. We, as newspapers, need to disappear that word in our metamorphosis.

The "amateurs" already are playing a larger role and I welcome them. My hope is the institution currently known as newspapers will continue to be a vital fulcrum for information from many sources. Suggestions encouraged!

Posted by: Jack Lail at November 27, 2007

I think it's very possible for most newspapers to transform themselves into something that can survive the 21st century. Clearly the electronic side will become more important.

It's also a lot more competitive, because the barriers to entry are lower. Still, newspapers have been doing this for a long time and if they can adapt they can compete.

Posted by: Les Jones at November 27, 2007

There is something about seeing words and pictures on the printed page that remains attractive to people. If my kid's picture shows up on the cover of the local rag, it still feels more "official" than if it showed up on somebody's blog covering local sports.

Tucked away in an end table at my parent's house is an old newspaper in a plastic sleeve. Printed in bold on the front page is an enormouse headline "MEN WALK ON MOON!". Decades later it's still neat to see that.

What will be the 21st century equivalent of the enormous masthead? Something will be the equivalent. But it probably won't be a moldering printout of the front page from that one time you got Slash-dotted.

Posted by: Chris Range at November 29, 2007
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